South African Foreign Policy: Identities, Intentions, and Directions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

South African Foreign Policy

Identities, Intentions, and Directions, 1st Edition

Edited by David R Black, David Hornsby


140 pages

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This book considers the identity, direction, and intentions embodied in post-apartheid South African Foreign Policy.  It aims to deepen the understanding of this evolving post-apartheid foreign policy through an exploration of the nature and trajectory of key bilateral relationships from both the global ‘South’ (Brazil, China, Iran, the AU) and ‘North’ (Japan and the UK). This window on the country’s international relations enriches understanding of the normative and structural factors that influence not only South African foreign policy, but also those of the ‘emerging middle powers’ as they seek to position themselves as influential actors in international affairs. By sketching the contours of key South African relationships, the contributors offer illuminating insights into the cross-pressures shaping South African foreign policy. In addition, they also add depth to the emerging middle power concept by exploring four areas where the tendencies and tensions of emerging middle power foreign policies are apparent: regionalism, multilateralism, reform of global governance, and approach to moral leadership.

This book was previously published as a special issue of Commonwealth & Comparative Politics.


"With South Africa’s domestic political landscape overshadowing its global affairs at present, the analysis put forward in this volume provides a renewed impetus to the study of South Africa’s foreign policy after 1994."

Sanusha Naidu, Institute for Global Dialogue, South Africa, South African Journal of International Affairs

"The contribution of this book is significant for its focus on bilateral relations, moving beyond much of the literature that has so far focused on South Africa's broader foreign policy development and implementation, particularly in the multilateral system of governance. Given the number of bi-national commisions (BNCs) and strategic partnerships that South Africa has agreed, this is indeed an area that is in the need of further interrogration in terms of its strategic value."

Lesley Master, Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol 39, No 2, University of Johannesburg

Table of Contents

1. South Africa’s bilateral relationships in the evolving foreign policy of an emerging middle power

David R. Black and David J. Hornsby

2. Norm dynamics and international organisations: South Africa in the African Union and International Criminal Court

J. Andrew Grant and Spencer Hamilton

3. South Africa and Japan: maintaining a difficult friendship

Scarlett Cornelissen

4. South African foreign policy and China: converging visions, competing interests, contested identities

Chris Alden and Yu-Shan Wu

5. Brazil and South Africa: the ‘odd couple’ of the South Atlantic?

Janis van der Westhuizen

6. A battle of principles: South Africa’s relations with Iran

Michal Onderco

7. Breaking with tradition? South Africa–UK relations

David J. Hornsby and David R. Black

About the Editors

David J Hornsby is an Associate Professor of International Relations and the Assistant Dean of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

David R Black is the Lester B Pearson Professor of International Development Studies at Dalhousie University in Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / International
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies